Do you think you may have Choctaw ancestry? Maybe you have family stories that have been passed down. But how do you separate stories from truth? How do you prove it?
The first thing you need to understand is that many stories are just that....stories. There maybe some truth to them and there may not be. You need an objective mind if you want to find out the truth.
Another thing to understand, is that in order to become a tribal member your ancestor MUST have applied to the Dawes commission and been approved. Your ancestor could have been full-blood, but if they didn't apply to the Dawes commission you will not be able to prove the paper trail required for tribal membership. In addition, DNA testing may prove Native ancestry, but it is not considered "proof" in regards to obtaining tribal membership.
Keeping all this in mind....
In order to be successful ALWAYS start with YOURSELF.
Please do NOT just jump straight to the Dawes rolls. Start with yourself. Download the family group sheet and pedigree chart provided in the sidebar to the right and fill them out.
Enter your information, then your parents, then each of your
grandparents, etc. as far back as you can.
Look for documents around the house or ask family members if they have documents such as birth certificates, death certificates, marriage records, etc. for these family members.
Now you can move to census records (forms are provided in the sidebar). Start with the 1940 and track your family lines back to the 1900 census. At this point, if you have found references to Native American ancestry, it's time to look at the Dawes Final Roll.
You can access these rolls on microfilm, at Ancestry.com, and on Fold3.com, and an index at AccessGenealogy.com. You can contact the tribe at this point for help with the application process.